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Thursday, 11 February 2016 03:58

“Holy Ghost Reborn” (Movie)

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Reviewed by Sandy Simpson
January29,2016 

 

I am sorry to say this but Bethel is clearly a cult of Christianity holding to most of the teachings of the Latter Rain and Word of Faith. They have demonstrated repeatedly a manipulative atmosphere targeting young people in particular while preaching rank heresy. This new film is a continuation of those false teachings and practices. I pray for the young people in that church that they will come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and thus come to know the true Holy Spirit.

 

I applaud them for their verve, but verve without veracity is vanity. What I mean by that is the impulse to go out and tell people about Jesus must accompany the true facts about Jesus or else people can end up believing in what is useless to them spiritually.

1 Corinthians 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

This film demonstrates clearly that the promoters from Bethel are actually hurting the cause of Christ by NOT preaching the Gospel and NOT discipling people in sound doctrine. To me what that church does in going after young people is going to bring them under harsh judgment someday. 

Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.

The title of the film

You can already see where this film is off by simply looking at the title of the film. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. God was never “born” nor would He be “reborn” in any sense. One of the false teachings of Word of Faith/New Thought is that Jesus had to be reborn in hell in order to offer salvation. They teach that He had to be the first to be born again.

For Christ to defeat his enemies, He had to: (1) die spiritually and become one with Satan in order to provide salvation from sin and healing for sickness, (2) die physically and fulfill the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenant, (3) be dragged to Hell by Satan where He suffered the torments for the damned for three days and nights, (4) be recreated in Hell and , thus, become the first born again man, (5) defeat Satan and the Demonic host in open combat, (6) rise from the dead as vindication of His victory in Hell, and (7) ascend to the Father where He was enthroned and now serves as the priestly mediator of the new covenant. [D.R. McConnell, The Kenyon Connection: A Theological and Historical Analysis of the Cultic Origins of the Faith Movement (Thesis submitted to the theological faculty, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 1982), 32-33. Also see Kenyon, Identification, 8, 15, 18.]

 Christ 'became one with the nature of Satan' and was 'born again' in hell; [Benny Hinn, adapted and/or excerpted by permission from the 2/94 The Berean Call (P.O. Box 7019, Bend, OR 97708, and from a 1992 Media Spotlight Special Report (P.O. Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073).]

"That Word of the living God went down into that pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life....Jesus was born again -- the firstborn from the dead the Word calls Him -- and He whipped the devil in his own backyard." (Kenneth Copeland, "The Price of It All," 4-6.)

The teaching of the word of faith/positive confession movement upon examining it, presents three essentials to what happened to Christ from the Cross to the Resurrection, which implied are: (1) Jesus died spiritually and took on Satan's corrupt nature, (2) Jesus was dragged to hell and tortured by the devil for three days and nights, and (3) Jesus had to be born again by His spirit becoming re-created.

The problem with this idea, which is very much reflected at Bethel, is that Jesus Christ was, is and ever shall be God and at no time ceased to be God (John 8:58, John 1:1-4, Titus 2:13). He added humanity to Himself in the Incarnation, but He never ceased to be God. He is forever since His Incarnation the 100% God/100% man. He subjected Himself fully to the Father and in doing so set an example for any believer, but He did not cease to be God. That is impossible. The idea that Jesus or the Holy Spirit had to be reborn at some point lowers God to our level, which is what I believe lies behind these teachings. Since they also apparently follow the Word of Faith line that all Christians are “little gods”, which is the original lie of Satan, they have to bring Jesus Christ down to their level. They teach that we can do all the miracles of Jesus Christ, taking John 14:12 out of context where it is clearly talking about followers of Christ having a wider impact around the world as Jesus was limited to Israel during his ministry. So they have to have God reborn so that we can be elevated to the same position and do everything God can do. And this is exactly what they try and fail to demonstrate in their film series. If they simply meant that the concept of the Holy Spirit is being reborn in the churches that might be a legitimate thing to say if that were true (when in actuality most churches are in apostasy). But the Holy Ghost cannot be reintroduced in a place that is teaching heresy about God while claiming they are the ones reintroducing the Holy Spirit, whom they call the “Holy Ghost”, to the churches.

As a side note I don’t personally like the term “Holy Ghost” today since the word “ghost” has taken on a different and sinister meaning in our modern day culture. But for some reason they prefer to use that designation for the Holy Spirit from the KJV. Be that as it may, their goal is to claim they can transfer the Holy Spirit into people and cause all kinds of things to happen including slain in the spirit, healings, dead raisings, causing people to be saved and even making people prophets and apostles by the laying on of hands. This is part of the New Order of the Latter Rain list of heresies that have been spread by people who have followed in the footsteps of William Branham, Paul Cain and the Kansas City Prophets.

First let’s deal with some of the trailers for this movie.

Holy Ghost Reborn – Brazil Teaser (

)

“The Gospel for all of us started when God called our name. We heard Him convict us of sin. We heard the voice of God and we responded and we came to life.”

This is their insufficient view of the Gospel, which proves they themselves cannot be saved. People do not physically hear the voice of God and then come to salvation. They must hear the Gospel preached by a Christian (Rom. 10:14) then the Holy Spirit convicts the person of sin (John 16:8), at which time that person must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Most of the Biblical elements of the Gospel are not present in Bethel’s presentation.

“But those boys, when they come into the presence of God are not murderers. They’re sons.”

The man on the video tells the story about a young boy who told him that he killed his friend. He then concludes that he is not a murderer but a son of God because “they came into the presence of God”. But justification from murder is impossible unless that boy believed unto salvation. What Bethel adherents are claiming is that when a boy like this one comes into proximity of someone from Bethel they will be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Since we have already seen that the Gospel is not presented, unfortunately the boy is still in his unbelieving state, therefore not a son of God but condemned.

Revelation 21:8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

These Bethel adherents are inviting anyone into the Kingdom without the Gospel or the issue of sin being taught or repented of. Here is a further example.

 Holy Ghost Reborn – Rome Teaser (

)

“Jesus loves everybody here. Say, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus …”

Todd White, on the video, walking the streets with a protest group in Rome, gets a hold of a megaphone and one would expect him to start preaching the Gospel given the opportunity. Instead his “gospel” is that “Jesus loves everybody here” and he urges the crowd to just shout “Jesus” over and over again. This is interesting given the fact that some Third Wave leaders claim they were saved when they repeated “Jesus” over and over, such as Steve Hill of Brownsville AoG in an article entitled “An Examination and Evaluation of the Brownsville Revival” by Jeffrey M. Spencer, 1999.

Shockingly, Steve Hill describes his salvation in terms of mantra. In his testimony, Hill claims that during a low-point in his life, he was visited by a Lutheran minister. The minister never presented the Gospel, but merely told Hill, then an atheist, that he must repeatedly say the name “Jesus” in order to be delivered from his degenerate lifestyle. Hill complied.

The sound of that name again and again seemed to bring hope from nowhere. The confusion and fear faded slowly as I looked to the ceiling and began to utter, `Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!' A peace, a warmth such as I never felt before, flooded my body. This power rushed in like a river and took command of everything. I kept crying out His name, louder and louder: `Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!' The more I said it, the greater was my deliverance.” (Hill, The Pursuit of Revival, 30.)

It is clear from this account, as well as the methods used by Bethel people, that they either are embarrassed about the Gospel or don’t know what the Gospel is, in which case we must assume they are also not saved. We pray that they will come to understand the Gospel at some point, and we are not their final Judge, but for them to spread a false gospel all over the world is an outrage and needs to be challenged and rejected by true believers.

Holy Ghost Reborn – South Africa Teaser (

)

In this teaser they promise an old blind South African woman they will heal her from blindness and being lame, which does not happen in the teaser. This type of thing happened in the first Holy Ghost movie where things were promised that did not happen. Why? Three reasons: (1) they do not know the Gospel (2) they are claiming to be doing miracles when they are clearly doing an unbiblical transferrable impartation through the laying on of hands and (3) they are promoting lies in the name of Jesus Christ which makes them followers on the enemy (John 8:44) and damages the cause of Christ.

Holy Ghost Reborn Film

The cover of the film jacket indicates that it features the following people in the film: Todd White, R.T. Kendall, Robby Dawkins, Kim Walker-Smith, Bill Johnson, Banning Liebscher, Chad Norris, Gary Wilson and Reinhard Bonnke. The inclusion of Bill Johnson and some other Bethel Church members is not surprising. But R.T. Kendall is a bit of a surprise for those who have not kept up with him.

Reinhard Bonnke

Reinhard Bonnke starts out the film. He states this:

“In the beginning God created heaven and earth and there was darkness, chaotic conditions in the world and then we read the Holy Spirit hovered over this chaos. But nothing happened. Absolutely nothing happened. He may have hovered a million or a billion years. Nothing happened. Until God said “Let there be light”.”

Right from the very start of this film we already see a departure from Scripture. The Holy Spirit did not hover for millions or billions of years. Billions of years are what Theological Evolutionists teach. The Bible is quite clear on the days of creation.

Gen. 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

First, this was all done on the first day of creation which the Bible says was a day consisting of an evening and a morning. That is the definition of a 24 hour day. Secondly the Spirit of God was hovering in anticipation of creation. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all involved in the creation.

Father: Gen. 1:1, Mal. 2:10

Son: John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2

Spirit: Gen. 1:2; Psa. 104:30

So Bonnke reveals himself to hold to Theological Evolutionist views, adding to his other many false teachings.

Bonnke is a Word of Faith false teacher, has made false prophecies and has told false stories. The use of Bonnke throughout the film proves that Bethel is very much linked to the Word of Faith/New Thought tradition and false teachings as well as the New Apostolic/Latter Rain teachings. You can read up on Bonnke and his false teachings and false healing claims on this page.

Bonnke, in the film, goes on to say:

“And I wondered why the Holy Spirit was waiting so long.”

Why would someone who allegedly teaches the Bible wonder that the Holy Spirit was waiting? First, the Spirit is subject to the Father. Second, He exists from eternity past through the present to eternity future. Of course He was waiting because creation was planned by the Father in eternity. By the way, we are also to wait on the Lord.

Psalm Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. 27:14

The film then starts with the narrator asking a question:

“How do you film an invisible God? How do you account for the wide variety of journeys each person is on?”

The answer to the first question is that you cannot film God. You can film the effects of God but not God Himself. But then people from Bethel regularly claim to be seeing and hearing God in the physical world. I often remind people of the fact that heretics like Johnson, Bonnke, Yonngi Cho and countless others who claim to have seen God or Jesus in their homes or churches are liars because no man can see God and live (Ex. 33:20). Yes Paul saw Jesus and went blind for a while and John saw Jesus and fell down as if dead. Of course they claim that what John experienced is what they experience with “slain in the spirit” which is where they got the name (Rev. 1:17). But slain in the spirit has nothing to do with what John experienced upon the Holy Spirit giving him the vision of Revelation.

They are also claiming in this film that they are the ones who are “rebirthing” the Holy Spirit for people to see. The problem is that the evidence suggests that we are not seeing the Holy Spirit at work but rather another spirit masquerading as the Holy Spirit. This will be proven by the time we look at this film in depth. We have already shown this in our review of the first “Holy Ghost” movie, but this second film firmly establishes that the works seen are not the Holy Spirit.

Second, when they say “each person” do they mean every Christian or every person alive? As we continue in this film it will become evident that it looks like they mean every person alive. Later a crowd is told that Jesus loves everyone and all they need to do is shout “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus …”. But that is not the Gospel. It is a Universalist message that God is basically in the process of saving everyone. It is at least an Inclusivist message where people from other religions simply need to acknowledge Jesus and add Him into their religious practices. This is what YWAM has been promoting for decades following Inclusivists like Don Richardson. Read reviews in our Book Review section on Richardson’s books.

Thirdly this opening sequence about how God is supposedly revealing Himself through people is filmed at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It shows people rubbing the bronze foot of a statue of Peter. The foot on that statue is almost worn out as countless millions of people have rubbed it or kissed it through the centuries in hopes of a blessing. I have seen this statue myself.

That is false religion therefore how can it be an evidence of filming “God”? When a film starts by filming in the Vatican you can be sure that film is not showing the work of God but the work of the enemy.

Todd White

It is claimed the filmmakers decided to take Todd White to the Vatican but first visited other sites in Rome. My guess is that this film and anyone in it were funded by Bethel. White was in the first “Holy Ghost” movie. They arrive at the Coliseum. White begins to tell about a mob in front of the Coliseum comprised of “angry students”, although they don’t look very angry to me. He says his motivation was to bring peace to the situation just like Jesus would have. His first goal is to “touch as many people as I can.” He obviously thinks he can touch people and bring them the Holy Spirit, or peace, or healing, or whatever. His friend obviously idolizes him and thinks what he is doing is fantastic. There is no mention of a desire to preach the Gospel, only grandstanding by touching people and shouting “Jesus”. The narrator claims that “God had a plan in the midst of this craziness”. On film it does not look like there is a lot of craziness going on just people walking past. White keeps saying “Jesus, blessed of God” as he goes through the peaceful protestors, touching everyone he can get his hands on. He also says “Holy Spirit land on them”. Of course one has to wonder how many of them even speak English as they are giving him funny looks. These cultists from Bethel treat the Holy Spirit as some kind of force they can transfer to people. They treat God like He is a force, some kind of force they can coax into landing on people. This is all part of the unbiblical “slain in the spirit” nonsense that Bethel promotes that has nothing whatsoever to do with God and more to do with psychological manipulation and even other spirits.

Todd claims that the best place for God to be is in a hostile environment. He then says that we must “release the Kingdom of God”. Christians cannot “release the Kingdom of God” if they are not preaching the Gospel. The Kingdom of God today is a spiritual one until Christ comes back and establishes the physical Kingdom during the Millennium. Bethel teaches Dominionism where they believe they are establishing the physical Kingdom on earth now, which is called Kingdom Now. But true Christians believe in Kingdom Come. You can watch a DVD on that subject

">here. You cannot lay hands on people and save them by transference, which is what Bethel teaches. Not only that but they claim they can make people foundational apostles and prophets by the laying on of hands with a mystical impartation. They often call it “activation”.

He next meets a Rastafarian guy with dreadlocks like his own. The guy speaks a little English and Todd asks if he can pray for him. The guy cuts him off by telling him he is a Rastafarian and that “We love all people in the world because we are the same”. Todd says “Yeah, man, bless you dude. Awesome, man.” This is the problem with sending out people who have no discernment or Bible teaching. Rastafarianism is a false religion. Wikipedia defines it this way:

Rastafari is an Abrahamic belief which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, following the coronation of Haile Selassie I as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–74), in much the same way as Jesus in his Second Advent, or as God the Father. (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafari)

They are worshipping a man instead of God! That White would overlook this in favor of making a new “friend” completely annihilates any similarity between him and Jesus. Jesus is the only Way! (John 14:6)

As the protestors continue to chant Todd starts singing “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus …”. What this is supposed to accomplish brings out what Bethel teaches. They obviously believe that simply repeating the name of Jesus will save people or give them the Holy Spirit. As I have stated previously that is how many of them claim to have been saved themselves. But repeating the name of Jesus will not save anyone. When the Bible says to “call on the name of Jesus” (Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13) it is not just repeating His name that saves. In Acts 2 Peter preached the Gospel and quoted from the Old Testament in prophesying, that from that point on people could call on the name of Jesus and be saved, whereas in the Old Testament one would have to become a Jew to be saved. But calling on the name of the Lord in Acts 2 is tied to the Gospel being preached. Romans 10 states the same thing. The full context of that statement by Paul in Romans 10:11-13 is this:

For the Scripture says, Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

So salvation is based on belief in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) and repentance of sin (2 Cor. 7:10). It is not based on shouting the name of Jesus over and over again. That is the type of practice pagans do in repetitious prayers.

Matthew 6:7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

Yet White is teaching mainly unbelieving Gentiles that repetition of the name of Jesus will somehow benefit them apart from the Gospel.

White then starts singing “Holy Ghost, have your way in here”. I supposed he thinks he is inviting the Holy Spirit to do something at this demonstration. But since he is disobeying the Great Commission, on what basis does he invite the Holy Spirit to participate in what he is doing? Since I believe that what Bethel often promotes another spirit based on what they teach, practice and manifest, Todd is not helping the cause of Christ but hindering it.

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

It is not only unbelievers who bear different spirits beautifully, but it is also many pseudo Christians like members of Bethel who have accepted another Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel. They have proven already, beyond doubt, that they promote all three delusions.

I believe this film proves that a deluding influence is already upon many churches that promote and believe this stuff.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,

This influence is already here and will only grow to its final manifestation under the brief reign of the antichrist. Their delusion is believing that they are worshipping God when in fact they are worshipping and promoting another Jesus, a different spirit and a different gospel. This is already happening in churches all over the world.

Todd says, while walking with demonstrators who are not listening to him, “I thank you in the name of Jesus, God, that you would totally transform everyone here.” How is that going to happen? By him shouting in a crowd who are not even listening to him? Can he bring transformation to lives without the Gospel? Delusion.

He then asks a demonstrator if he can use his megaphone. He badgers him until he lets him use it. This is the clip they use as a trailer for the film in the Holy Ghost Reborn – Rome teaser. I will reprint here what I said at the beginning of this article as it bears repeating.

“Jesus loves everybody here. Say, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus …”

Todd White, on the video, walking the streets with a protest mob in Rome, gets a hold of a megaphone and one would expect him to start preaching the Gospel given the opportunity. Instead his “gospel” is that “Jesus loves everybody here” and he urges the crowd to just shout “Jesus” over and over again. This is interesting given the fact that some Third Wave leaders claim they were saved when they repeated “Jesus” over and over, such as Steve Hill of Brownsville AoG in an article entitled “An Examination and Evaluation of the Brownsville Revival” by Jeffrey M. Spencer, 1999.

Shockingly, Steve Hill describes his salvation in terms of mantra. In his testimony, Hill claims that during a low-point in his life, he was visited by a Lutheran minister. The minister never presented the Gospel, but merely told Hill, then an atheist, that he must repeatedly say the name “Jesus” in order to be delivered from his degenerate lifestyle. Hill complied.

The sound of that name again and again seemed to bring hope from nowhere. The confusion and fear faded slowly as I looked to the ceiling and began to utter, `Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!' A peace, a warmth such as I never felt before, flooded my body. This power rushed in like a river and took command of everything. I kept crying out His name, louder and louder: `Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!' The more I said it, the greater was my deliverance.” (Hill, The Pursuit of Revival, pg. 30.)

It is clear from this account, as well as the methods used by Bethel people, that they either are embarrassed about the Gospel or don’t know what the Gospel is, in which case we must assume they are also not saved. We pray that they will come to understand the Gospel at some point, and we are not their final Judge, but for them to spread a false gospel all over the world is an outrage and needs to be challenged and rejected by true believers.

After Todd shouts “Jesus” in the megaphone for a while, during which time I can’t see anyone who repeats it with him, he ends with one final “Jesus” and a few people in the crowd clap. I don’t see why the makers of this film thought this incident was so fantastic. This shows that, apparently, when Bethel people view this film they see something different than most people do, including and especially true Christians. Bethelites see what they want to see. They think what Todd is doing is a great thing and having a real impact when, in fact, there is no impact apart from the people thinking he is a little nuts.

Todd and other Bethel people say, after he gives the megaphone back, that it was “So good, so good bro”. However, at that point the crowd goes back to chanting their protest chants. Still under delusion the Bethel people think they have inspired the crowd and they comment “How long does it take the gospel?” What gospel? There was none presented and no difference made in the protest march.

Todd then lays hands on a young lady trying to impart the “presence of Jesus” saying “more”. Nothing happens. He says to another guy “Come on dude, while you’re rolling that joint let me pray for you. Father in Jesus’ name I ask you to bless this man.” The Bible tells us not to leave our blessings on people who are unrepentant, godless sinners.

Proverbs 24:25 But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight, And a good blessing will come upon them.

Matthew 10:13 If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.

Romans 4:7 Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered.

Though it is true that we must bless those who curse us and persecute us (Rom. 12:13), true believers stand as a rebuke to the wicked, as salt and light, and they will be blessed for it. We are not to give a blessing of peace to people who continue in sin and unbelief. Blessings from God can only come for those who have believed in Jesus Christ and had their sins forgiven. How can they be forgiven, however, if we just bless them and do not give them the Good News?

Romans 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

A person cannot be saved by just hearing the name of Jesus. They have to know why Jesus had to come and die and be resurrected. They have to know they are sinners apart from God. When someone like Todd simply says “Jesus loves you” it is not the whole truth and cannot save.

He asks another kid if he has problems with his neck or back. The kids answers “I have no problems. Jesus is my problem.” Todd then says “God bless you man”. There seemed to be a number of kids who are turned off to Christianity in this crowd. Todd then comments on how many people are turned off by Christianity and how they need to see Christ in a believer. The problem is that he says that a Spirit-filled believer is like this: “I’ve seen more and more people come to Jesus because of the authentic walk of a believer that is filled and possessed with the Holy Spirit of God.” The Holy Spirit does not “possess” believers; He indwells and empowers them. The enemy is the one who has to possess people. God does not possess people and make them do things, circumventing their will. But this is what we see happening at Bethel all the time with people falling backwards into a trance and then doing all kinds of things through being controlled by something other than their own will. God works with the will of men whose wills He created. Satan must control by taking people out of their own wills. Anyone who is going around “possessed” is bringing down the cause of Christ. The effects of Todd going down the street in Rome are that people do not come to Christ but are antagonistic toward Jesus.

The film then cuts to an interview with a female singer who claims to have had a vision of Todd and crew going to Rome a month before they left. The implication is that this dream was prophetic. I don’t question that she had a dream. But it is clear to me that she already likely knew of their plans before they left. This exactly exemplifies the false prophecy that happens at Bethel on a daily basis and their propensity to fabricate facts as a means to an end. She says she saw in her dream a lion under the fountains, underground in Rome, that was pacing all around them but they were not afraid of it. She says it was like they were familiar with the lion and they were just hanging out with this pacing lion. It reminded me of this passage:

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

But in her vision they were “hanging out” with the lion. I believe they are truly familiar with this lion and that is who they represent in this film. She then acts like she did not know they were going to Rome till she got there to film. I believe the truth is that they arranged this little sequence to try to make it like it was a prophetic dream when actually both her and the crew already knew about the scheduled trip to Rome. I cannot prove that one way or the other but knowing the type of hijinks Bethel people try to pull off I believe this is a ruse. In any case it is not a prophecy from the Lord.

Todd then says “after the riot” they hoped to film in the catacombs. What happened was clearly a fairly peaceful demonstration, not a “riot”. So then they decide to make the girl’s dream a reality, so they could claim it was prophetic, and try to film in the catacombs because that was the only place underground they could think of. Todd then tells of his own dream of being underground in tunnels. He claims he also saw a lion in the tunnels under the Coliseum and says he was so freaked out. But why is he freaked out when the girl sounded like they were hanging out with the lion? But then we find out that the lion “was not angry but was watching out for us”. So as it turns out they are on the same page. He says that the lion was “awesome”.

Then he also meets up with the dreads Rastra guy from the demonstration. The guy tells Todd he is glad to see him because he had told other people that he had met a Rasta who was filming. Todd says “Yeah”.

He then goes into telling them that they need Jesus because He will give them rest and peace. To his credit Todd does thrown in that Jesus died for his sins, but he is basically telling the guys that Jesus will reveal Himself to them. But they will not know why Jesus died for sin unless they are presented the Gospel. But that is the end of what Todd said to them on film. The Gospel is again missing. Yet they claim God led them to the Rasta guy “through a series of dreams”. If God had truly led them they would have actually witnessed to them instead of making promises to them that are empty without the Gospel.

The narrator then says: “God is coming after all of us, one at a time. He will pursue us for a lifetime if that’s what it takes”.

God does convict the world of sin and gives everyone a chance to believe if they have heard the Gospel. But the outcome is not guaranteed. Many will reject Him over and over again. Not everyone will be saved. Again it looks like Bethel is teaching a form of Universalism.

The narrator says “Our new friend wasn’t quite ready for a relationship with Jesus.” How do they know that he will ever be ready? They did not present the Gospel to him, only nice stuff about how Jesus would bring him peace. That is not going to bring him to Jesus. The fact that they met up with the Rasta guy again is not that miraculous. They went down to the same demonstration and it was very likely the same people would be there again.

Todd claims he is “sowing seeds and watering seeds but that God brings the increase.” God will not increase something that does not contain the Gospel. Would Paul have done this in the marketplaces? Todd seems to be comparing himself to people like Jesus and Paul but his methods, as already demonstrated only 1/3 of the way into this film, have nothing in common with Jesus or Paul. It is clear Todd will say anything to make friends with people, but I wonder if he is too embarrassed to share the Gospel? He has been sent out by Bethel to Italy without any apparent training in the Bible or preparation to share the Gospel. But then Bethel does not really teach the Bible. They go on and on about mystical experiences, dreams, visions, prophecies and the like and how to do them, teaching their people pragmatic techniques to manipulate people. But they are not teaching them the very things that would have a chance to change people’s lives.

Todd claims the Holy Spirit is going to bring people to God but God depends on Christians to preach the Gospel.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

The Great Commission is still our mandate, not saying things people want to hear or will make them like us. To plant the seeds of the possibility of regeneration and the convicting of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel must be presented. To just talk about Jesus is not enough. Lots of false religions talk about Jesus. The facts about Jesus must be presented.

Todd says of the Rasta guy “He has been hurt by religion. So many people have been hurt by religion.” The fact is Todd never explained to this guy how to get out of his false religion. Also, this technique of putting down “religion” to emphasize a personal relationship with the Lord has been used for a long time in American churches and is often used by false teachers to put down Bible-based churches. The problem with this angle is that there actually IS such a thing as true religion.

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Christians have true religion if they love the Lord Jesus Christ, love their neighbors as themselves, and remain a witness to the world by not being stained by it. You cannot effectively witness to people who are worldly by being worldly yourself. But that is exactly what Bethel promotes in their music, their wild manifestations, and the way they dress. It is good to point out the false things from false religion. Todd could have done that by pointing out that Rastafarianism is a false religion that will get you nowhere. But instead he treats the guy like he is his brother in the Lord. We always need to treat people with kindness, but we also need to present the truth in love.

Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love

There is always a balance there. Truth without love is useless just as love without truth is useless. In our modern times we tend to err on the side of “love” without truth because we have been taught to be politically correct. But you can “love” a person into hell without the truth.

Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson, the head pastor of Bethel, then states: “The Word of God is supposed to lead to the Person of God.” He then quotes John 5:39:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;

His point apparently is that the Scriptures are not as important as Jesus Himself. But how can you divorce The Word from The Word? Jesus point was not that the written Word is not important; it was that the Jews knew the Scriptures but were denying the Messiah standing right in front of them. He was not saying the written Word is not important. In fact God says:

Ps. 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, And give thanks unto thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (ASV)

The Bible also tells us that the written Word is eternal.

Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

Bill Johnson is teaching young minds full of mush that the experience of this “Holy Ghost” is a higher expression of spirituality than the written Word. This is then carried out by people like Todd White who has obviously not been taught in the Word but rather in mysticism. He claims the study of the Word has to end in our “encounter with God” which is “more than just concepts and doctrines and principles”. This is fine if you have actually studied the Word but if you can’t even articulate the Gospel I dare say the Word has been ignored in favor of experience. Any true experience is going to come as a result of study of the Bible and knowing true doctrine. Emphasis of experience over doctrine is backwards. It is always doctrine first, studying to show yourself an approved workman, then out of that true experience with God can come.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV)

The emphasis on rightly dividing the Word of truth has almost disappeared from many churches today. This is evidenced by the fringe of Christianity in places like Bethel. They come out of a tradition that holds, frankly, a low view of Scripture. Let me give you some examples from some of their modern heroes of the “faith”, whom Bethelites apparently read and agree with, when they talk about the Bible being our highest authority (Sola Scriptura):

And the maps that used to accurately reflect reality don’t reflect reality anymore. (Brian McLaren, A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

This has been the cry of liberal denominations such as the United Methodists for decades, of which McLaren, a leader in the Emergent Church movement, is a part. The “map” he is referring to is obviously the Bible.

The new Christianity of the Great Emergence must discover some authority base or delivery system and/or governing agency of its own. It must formulate—and soon—something other than Luther’s Sola Scriptura which, although used so well by the Great Reformation originally, is now seen as hopelessly outmoded or insufficient … (Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence, pg. 151) 

Yet Jesus is best understood in a combination of elements that include Scripture but also the following of the Holy Spirit, experience, science, and community. And my argument has always been that Sola Scriptura presents, albeit unfortunately, an incomplete picture that cripples people in the discipleship process. It largely ignores that call to the leading of the Holy Spirit as the base element for understanding the story. In the end I think the larger Emergent community is saying the same thing I am. They're just not given credit for it because Emergent is such a lightning rod. (Jonathan Brink, online blog: http://jonathanbrink.com/2008/12/05/the-great-emergence-day-1/)

This [that the canon was not settled until the 4th century] is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true. In reaction to abuses by the church, a group of believers during a time called the Reformation claimed that we only need the authority of the Bible. But the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is. (Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis – Rethinking the Christian Faith, (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2005), pgs 67-68).

“The Bible itself is a book that constantly must be wrestled with and re-interpreted. He dismisses claims that “Scripture alone” will answer all questions. Bible interpretation is colored by historical context, the reader’s bias and current realities, he says. The more you study the Bible, the more questions it raises. “It is not possible to simply do what the Bible says,” Bell writes. (Online source, emphasis added)

Perhaps the most fundamental problem with Sola Scriptura is the first half: “Sola”. In context, there were 5 solas (also Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo gloria) representing the Reformation’s pillars or fundamental beliefs. Sola Scriptura, however, seems to have taken on a life of its own in the minds of those pondering the question of ultimate authority in an age of Biblism. Anyway, in essence, the problem is that a closed starting point will result in a limited system. By declaring any source of truth with the proviso “alone,” we automatically exclude whatever else might reveal it. (Nic Paton, So Long, Sola?, Emergent Village weblog, http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/so-long-sola) 

This is not true. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, but He does not teach ideas outside of the Bible but helps us understand how to apply those eternal principles in our lives.

"Sola Scriptura also tends to downplay the role of God's Spirit in shaping the direction of the church. Of greatest importance to this discussion is the fact that often people subscribing to Sola Scriptura do not take into account the subjectivity of human interpreters" (Pagitt, Jones, "An Emergent Manifesto of Hope," Baker Books, 2007, p. 156).

“In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ. . . . And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus. … [The problem is] "the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice.” (J.P. Moreland quoted in "Postcard from San Diego: Fighting 'Bibliolatry' at the Evangelical Theological Society," by Ted Olsen, Christianity Today, 11/14/07.)

“There’s truth in every religion I, I, Christians believe there’s truth in every religion. But we just believe there is one savior. We believe we can learn truth from, I believe I’ve have learned a lot of truth from different religions. Because they all have a portion of the truth. I just believe there’s one savior Jesus Christ” (Rick Warren, Nov.22, 2004 Larry King live)

Other religions may have some moral truths similar to what the Bible teaches, but they have nothing useful with regard to forgiveness of sin and how to gain eternal life. In fact they are directly contrary to what the Bible teaches. None of them acknowledges that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

My personal opinion is that I am becoming very weary of those, like Johnson, who think they can add useful information to what the Bible says without even teaching what the Bible says. They are not exegeting Scripture; they are eisogeting Scripture because they have a low view of it. Johnson goes on to draw the correct balance between what we believe from the Bible and what we experience or do as Christians. The problem is that Bethel has imported occult experiences, passing them off as from God (which the Bible calls “lying signs and wonders”). So contrary to what Johnson teaches on this video, they HAVE put experience way above Scripture and in order to get the experiences they want they have forsaken sound doctrines and practices and allowed the enemy a foothold in their churches

Chad Norris then states that the “Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom” and that “the kingdom is not a matter of talk, it’s a matter of power”. The context of 1 Cor. 4:20 is not talking about signs and wonders. It is talking about people who try to have power but don’t know what they are talking about because they are not grounded in the Word. Paul calls them “arrogant people” which is exactly what we see at Bethel in many instances. Paul then goes on to say:

1 Cor. 4:21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit? 

The arrogant false teachers were castigating people for not heeding their words and the Law. But a truly Spirit-filled Christian will exhibit love and a gentle spirit. What Norris is trying to do is what hyper-Pentecostals and Third Wavers always do. They claim they are truly sharing the Gospel with signs and wonders, actually “slain in the spirit”, when what they are doing is talking about Jesus to the exclusion of the full revelation of the Good News. Norris puts down people who preach in favor of people who promote signs and wonders. He says the Gospel cannot by effectively preached without them. This is what John Wimber and the Kansas City Prophets (Latter Rain advocates) brought into many churches today. This becomes divisive because those who fall down backwards and go into trances consider themselves on a higher spiritual plain than those who have been transformed from the inside out and are now walking in the Spirit, allowing the Lord to change people’s lives and even do miraculous things. So you end up with a division between the elite “slain in the spirit” group and those who humbly live their lives in obedience to the Lord and His Word and continue to preach the Gospel. The Gospel-lite of churches like Bethel saves no one. In fact their version of Christianity inoculates people from truly being born again and, when the promises of signs and wonders are proven to not be of God, a person can end up having their faith destroyed and never come back to God.

2 Timothy 2:17-19 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Faith can be destroyed by false teaching and I have seen that over and over again. But we can have the assurance of salvation by two things: (1) God knows who are His and (2) those who continue to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and walk in the Spirit, getting away from the wickedness of the old man through confession and repentance, have a solid foundation.

Ali

The film next tells the story of a man by the name of Ali who allegedly “met Jesus at Mecca.” He made a pilgrimage to Mecca and did all the ritualistic prayers and other nonsense there because he thought “something good” would come of it. That night he had a dream where “Jesus came”. Now was this an answer to his Islamic prayers for “something good” to come? Of course this is a subjective account with no proof whatsoever. Ali says Jesus “touched my forehead with his hand”. Ali puts his finger, not his hand, on his forehead. I don’t know if he was pointing toward his forehead or indicating what Jesus allegedly did, but that is not how Jesus would have done it. However it is what other false religions and Hindu gurus do in employing “Shaktipat”, which is what “slain in the spirit” is based on. Notice Bahgwan Shree Rajneesh doing Shaktipat on a follower using a finger.

This is not what Jesus or the Disciples would have done in laying on of hands. Laying on of hands was not for impartation but an agreement with the Lord for His purposes in a believer’s life, particularly in ordaining pastors and missionaries.

Many people have claimed to see Jesus in dreams and visions but often, after investigation, it turns out to be a demonic episode or imagination. Satan can and does masquerade as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

Dreams and visions can either be from God, from the devil, or from the imaginations of men. I don’t doubt that God could give a person a dream of Himself while parading around the Kabbah, an Islamic monument to idolatry in Mecca, but if this story is to downplay the importance of person to person witness like YWAM has been doing for decades I don’t think the Church should promote these kinds of experiences.

Ali then says that Jesus touched his forehead and said “You have been saved, you have been saved.” Is this how we appropriate salvation? Isn’t salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? In his dream there is no mention of him believing in the Lord Jesus Christ or repenting of the sin of idolatry and worship of a false god. Allegedly this “Jesus” also said “You belong to me.” How can a person who had not believed and repented of sin belong to Jesus?

The “Jesus” Ali saw he describes as “naked from the waist up and shining pure white”. Did Jesus take his clothes off for Ali? When he appeared to John he was wearing a robe.

Rev. 19:13 & 16 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. … And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

I do not believe the true Jesus would appear half naked. Allegedly the lower part of Jesus was not clothed but was “like melted iron”. Ali goes on to say that Jesus was “taken up” from him. Jesus Christ is now in the third Heaven at the right hand of God the Father. He already ascended there and will only come back the same way He came in the Second Coming. We must beware of people who say they saw Jesus out in the wilderness or in the inner rooms, as many thousands claim in the Third Wave.

Matthew 24:26 So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.

Then Ali says a voice coming from inside on the right side of his belly began to speak. That part of his stomach was “moving around in the same way your mouth talks”. Ali said he woke up his friend and asked him if he heard the voice but he said “no”. Ali says: “But I had this dream. I saw Jesus.” But his friend said “You ate too much food last night”. Hmmmmm? Could he have been right?   So the voice kept talking and Ali claims it did not want him to go on with the pilgrimage but to get his things and go back to his own country. So he went back home, took a shower, and looked at his chest. A small patch of his chest hair was white and he claims it was never there before and he could not wipe it off. Is this what we can expect to see when a person is saved? So the video claims to this day his chest hair is still white where Jesus touched him in his dream. But, by his own account, Jesus did not touch 

him on his chest but on his head as he already testified. He does claim he got down on his knees and worshipped Jesus. But there is no confession of sin, no understanding of the Gospel.

We then come to commentary by R.T. Kendall who obviously bought into this story. He says what we are seeing is the Holy Spirit’s own witness. But the Holy Spirit works through Christians who witness the Gospel. Again, the Bible says this:

Romans 10:14-15 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

Paul does not say a person can come to salvation through a dream. He states categorically that a person cannot know the Gospel without a preacher. That preacher is a person with “feet” who has been “sent”. This is talking about people, not the Holy Spirit, and certainly not this being that appeared to Ali. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, but the Gospel message much be preached in order for the Holy Spirit to convict and a person who is spiritually blind have their eyes opened to their sinful condition. Otherwise there is no real consciousness of sin and the need for the Savior. This mystical “gospel” is not the true Gospel at all.

R.T. Kendall

Kendall brings a charge against Christians that they do not believe that the Holy Spirit can be consciously felt. This is not true but is it really that point that a Christian should “feel” the Holy Spirit? Can a person really distinguish the feelings they have which are part of the soulical/natural and spiritual things? This is one of the problems in our modern era. Feelings have overtaken understanding and believing. We take what God says about salvation by faith, not by feelings. Yes we may be convicted of sin and feel remorse. But the point is not the feeling; it is what we do with it. Do we then just say we are sorry and move on or do we turn from our wicked ways and commit to the Lord Jesus Christ? Kendall, a theologian, has been misled by the Third Wave/New Apostolic and has now become a pawn to be used by the Bethel cult. It is astounding to me that he is giving his endorsement to the same type of mystical garbage that Bethel is all about. You would think he would know better.

Banning Liebscher of Jesus Culture chimes in with a clever diaprax that he is willing to talk about the weird stuff of Bethel whereas some people just want to bash it. This is how false teachers brainwash people over to their position by acting like they are the ones with proper Christian balance, when in fact they are the ones who are way out on a limb and about to fall because they are hurting the cause of Christ by what they are teaching and doing. Jesus Culture has long been promoting the counterfeit revivals of the Third Wave. That people like Banning are unwilling to tackle the rank heresies emanating from Bethel shows that they have no love of the truth, but are simply trying to bridge the gap for young people by using the Hegelian Dialectic instead of proper Scriptural exegesis.

Here is one of many examples of heresy at Bethel. Recently the daughter-in-law of Bill Johnson, Jenn Johnson, who is allowed to do and say almost anything in that church, said that in heaven the angels were around the throne of God laughing over farting (Source). We have a number of clips in our previous review of the first “Holy Ghost” film of her saying and doing blasphemous things. Here are some other instances of note:

According to the Bethel church website, the Bethel School of Worship is charging a $775 tuition fee to students who want to spend ten days learning how to, uh, well, hone their worship skills. Added to the $775 fee is a $20 application fee, which brings the total to $895. Surely, the almost $900 fee will include breakfast, lunch, and supper prepared by a local Five-Star chef? Nonetheless, the classes will be taught by Senior Overseers Brian and Jenn Johnson, both of whom are passionate about leading their students "into open heaven encounters that will ultimately have great impact on the local church." (Source)

Jenn Johnson also said numerous times “the Holy Spirit is like a genie”. (Source) We have a lot of clips of her prancing around on stage and trying to press the “spirit” into people’s foreheads. Where was Banning when he heard about this stuff, saw it on YouTube or on their films? The fact is he has no desire whatsoever to talk to people who know the Word and obey the Lord because he might have to change his mind. He would much rather put down those who disagree by using invective and instead diaprax people who don’t know this kind of stuff that Jenn and many, many others are doing at Bethel and obviously have nothing whatsoever to do with The Father, Son or Holy Spirit. We need to continue to pray for their deliverance and salvation.

Robby Dawkins says: “The majority of unbelief, I believe, that is in the world has been propagated by the Church.” If he were talking about the Catholic religion, cults or “Christian” TV he would be correct. But to lay this charge on “the Church” is blasphemous. The true Church holds the message of the ONLY true belief system that can save a person. It was entrusted to them by Jesus Himself.

1 Corinthians 4:1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.

What Dawkins is claiming constitutes the ugly side of diaprax. Whereas Banning tries to mend fences, while actually putting down anyone who seriously disagrees with Bethel, Dawkins is doing a far more destructive diaprax, which unfortunately I have heard before by other heretics, ones that I am sure they are listening to and reading their books. The leadership of Brownsville AoG did this type of blasphemous diaprax in the mid-1990s and they learned it from the Toronto Airport Vineyard, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne and a whole host of other false teachers in the Third Wave. Here are some examples from an article I wrote called “The Ugly Side of Diaprax” where the Church is being put down:

Gordon Anderson (NAR)

The reason the church has failed its mandate, is that early on it lost the offices of Apostle and prophets. (excerpted and adapted from "Kingdom Now," Gordon Anderson, Paraclete, Summer 1990, Vol. 24, Number 3).

Tommy Tenney (NAR)

"in our present state we (the Church) are in no position to affect anything," (Tommy Tenney, God Chasers, pg. 101)

  1. Peter Wagner (NAR)

When asked what he (Wagner) thought the main stumbling block would be, that would keep leaders from embracing the Apostolic Reformation, Wagner cites "a commitment to tradition amongst ministers." Wagner states: "I think that some are bound by religious forms and functions that are ineffective and I think in many cases it is demonic influence." (The Apostles Are Coming To Your City, Ready or Not by Orell Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 6, No. 2, March/April 2001)

Rick Warren (Church Growth)

"Most churches only think about their own church and their own community," he told attendants, who represented 39 countries and 50 states. "But our mission is the global glory of God." (Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Network Summit, 5/08, as cited in Rick Warren Launches Coalition to Combat Five 'Global Giants', by Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post Reporter, Mon, May. 26 2008 04:31 PM, Source)

Terry LeBlanc (WCGIP)

And you know just picking up on the notion of that myth I mean one of the things that has been sort of an irritant in the hearts of many indigenous people around that world is that the Western cultures seem to acceptable as they are, as cultures within which we express our faith commitment to Christ, whereas indigenous cultures are almost uniquely denigrated and set aside as culture unacceptable in any way, shape or form within which we can express our faith in Christ and so indigenous peoples have not seen themselves in Christ many times because they have to see themselves in white skin in Christ and white culture in Christ and rejecting, in essence the very identity that God created them in and so it's kind of like how would feel to be told that you were discovered by someone who was lost, that kind of thing. (WORD TO THE WORLD, PROGRAM 544, KLHT 1040 radio in Honolulu, HI in late 2001, transcript available here: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/lehmann.html)

Brian McLaren (Emerging Church)

Then there’s an early transition period when people are very negative and very cynical, very critical, they’re angry about how the old system doesn’t answer the questions anymore. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian, Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map))

Leonard Sweet (Emerging Church)

"CHANGE OR BE CHANGED” In the old ecology of nature, change was seen as abnormal. In the new ecology of nature, change is life’s natural, normative state.... What works today won’t work tomorrow.... The wonder is that churches are not in more disarray. ... They are standing pat, opting to uphold the status quo rather than undergo the upheaval." - "Postmodern culture is a change-or-be-changed world. The word is out: Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die." (Leonard Sweet, Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Zondervan, 1999), p. 74-75)

Alan Jones (Emerging Church)

ALAN JONES (Author of Reimagining Christianity) "The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it" (Alan Jones, Reimaging Christianity, p. 132).

Dawkins goes on to say “When men have not been able to produce this experience or healing or things like that, they begin to produce a theology that says it’s not for today. That it doesn’t belong in the now. Or if you keep following that stuff it will be a bunch of shenanigans and stay away. And so unbelief has come in through the teaching … experiencing God is what’s going to bring people.”

First of all if Dawkins is saying that men have to produce the experiences or healing then he has it backwards. Again, if you have your theology wrong your experience will be wrong. Yes, there are denominations that are Cessationist that do not believe the spiritual gifts are for today. I don’t happen to agree with that position. But I also know many of them are committed Christians and have led others to a profession of faith. Salvation is not about a mystical experience; it is about committing ourselves to the Savior and recognizing our sins. Signs and wonders may follow (Mark 16:17) but believers are not to follow signs and wonders. Lest we forget:

Mark 13:22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

When a church like Bethel teaches false theology and encourages all kinds of false prophecy and experiential high jinx, the above warning applies. Christians should expect God to do miraculous things, but God does not endorse the ministries of heretics with true Divine miracles. There are many sources of “healing” and I wrote about that in an article called “Biblical Divine Healing Versus Other Types of Healing”.

This idea that the Gospel has to be tied to signs and wonders is where John Wimber led the churches astray with these ideas from the New Order of the Latter Rain. C. Peter Wagner and Chuck Peirce of the New Apostolic now continue that teaching, and Bethel is in lockstep with them. But the Biblical fact is that the Gospel is not dependent on signs and wonders. In fact signs and wonders can actually be a hindrance for people. Many times they get their focus off the Gospel and gain a desire for more and more spectacular manifestations. When they do, any pastor worth their salt would remind them of what Jesus said to the Pharisees:

Matt. 12:38-39 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

We too live in a very wicked and adulterous generation that is always asking for a sign. But the sign they need is the sign of Jonah, meaning the story that prefigures Christ’s death for sin and resurrection, thus the Gospel message.

For Dawkins to put down any church that does not jump into the dissolution of Bethel is ugly diaprax that has no place in the Christian faith. Bethel cannot save people by trying to summon up signs and wonders, laying hands on people and trying to transfer salvation to them. But that is what they claim they can do by what is demonstrated on this film. The Gospel to them is not about preaching but about doing signs and wonders. That is not the Gospel and is actually a trick of the enemy to rope people in. But later, when they realize it is a ruse, their faith can be, in many cases, irreparably damaged and they may never actually come to salvation. I have seen this over and over again through many contacts via email, etc.

Dawkins, with a man from Greece and a third man, lays his hands on a girl in Greece to heal her from a shoulder problem. Dawkins tells her “Jesus is about to heal you right now.” They pray for her and command healing. They ask her if she is healed and where her pain is on a scale of 1-10. They claim she indicated the pain was at a 10 before they prayed for her. But the video does not document her saying anything of the kind. She finally answers that the pain is at a 5 after they “heal” her. When she tells them of her post “healing” pain level they say that “God is healing you”. This is what many Word of Faith and Third Wave false healers have said when nothing happens. This proves this is not true healing. They then pray for her again and again and the narrator says that the reason they prayed for her again is that healings don’t always happen “all at once”. But this is actually proof that it is not a divine biblical healing because in the Bible one of the marks of a true healing was that it was immediate.

From my paper mentioned above there are criteria to tell if a healing is a divine biblical healing.

True Biblical Divine Healing is immediate, lasting, verifiable and all the glory goes to Jesus Christ.   

(a) Immediate 

All the examples of Biblical Divine Healing in the New Testament (hereafter NT) were accomplished by the power of God instantaneously.  They were not done by the person (with the exception of Jesus Christ Himself) but were done through the person by the Holy Spirit.  God is the only One who can do a creative healing.  All other healings are natural or lying wonders, but only God can create.  Healings in the NT never took a long time.  They were always accomplished the same day, and in most cases were instantaneous.

(b) Lasting

All Biblical Divine Healings were lasting.  They lasted for the rest of the person's natural life.  They did not wear off.  The person that was healed did not have to come back for repeated treatments or healings.  The only case where there might be an exemption to this fact would be in the case of a conditional healing, where a person is exhorted to obey the Lord or the healing will be nullified.  But, though there are hints of this in the story of the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11 (which story is not present in the majority of early manuscripts and papyri) and in the healing of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:5, I am hard pressed to absolutely prove that assumption by Scripture.  Perhaps someone else can dig out an example of this.  

(c) Verifiable

All Biblical Divine Healings were verifiable.  The NT healings were obvious healings. The most obvious were recorded as proof.  Nearly half the incidents of healings in the NT that are descriptively recorded are of the most obvious kind, completely verifiable, beyond question. The people who were healed were well known in the community, in fact they were known by their ailment.  Many verses are available in the article.

(d) All Glory to God

All the glory goes to God for Biblical Divine Healing because it is impossible for anything or anyone to effect Biblical Divine Healing except God Himself.  Divine healing can occur at any time or any place.  God can heal in response to the prayers of the righteous (James 5:16) in answer to the prayers of the elders in a local church (James 5:14) or simply because God wants to heal someone.  I see no evidence in Scripture AT ALL of divine healing occurring as a sign to justify false teachers or false prophets.  I believe it is possible for a person to receive divine healing anywhere. 

To definitively prove that a healing is a Biblical Divine Healing today ... that healing would have to be (1) of an incurable condition (2) obvious (3) verifiable (4) a problem well known to many people (5) immediate (6) lasting and (7) ascribed alone to the glory of God Who accomplished it by His omnipotent power alone.  If it does not meet ALL these criteria it should not be used to prove it is a type of Biblical Divine Healing.

Yet Dawkins claims this is a divine healing even after it is clear they have to pray many times to convince her she is healed. In the end when she lifts her arm it looks like is still hurts but she tells them there is no pain. I suspect she wanted this prayer session to be over with. 

This is what the Holy Ghost series is all about … bamboozling people into thinking they are special anointed people with the power to heal when they cannot even see that they are not doing any divine healing. The girl finally says she has no pain. But the fact is that no proof is given that it actually happened. No doctor is consulted, no follow up is done. To present healings as a fact when there is no real evidence is what faith healers have been doing for decades on TV. Pat Robertson on CBN will take a letter from someone who says they were healed and read it on his program as proof that what they are doing is of the Lord and uses the claim to raise money when no real evidence has been presented. Christians are gullible for this stuff but it really turns off unbelievers. 

In the end Dawkins promises her a relationship with Jesus Christ based on this “healing” and then prays for her to ask Jesus “into her life”. But no Gospel has been presented. This is further proof that these people from Bethel think they can actually pray salvation into a person without the Gospel. So they shake her hand and send her on her way without even mentioning that she is a sinner in need of a Savior and what Jesus did to provide for the forgiveness of sins. So it has to be surmised that if this is the “gospel” that has “saved” her, then it is the same “gospel” that has “saved” them. So are they saved? According to the Bible they are not. This is not my own judgment but the judgment of God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

True Christians don’t preach Christ by saying “He loves you” and “just ask Him into your heart” and leave it at that. We preach “Christ crucified” which means explaining the death and resurrection of Jesus. A true believer will follow that up by going to the cross, confessing and repenting of our sins. I believe the reason for this new version of the Gospel is that they are afraid that the true Gospel will be “a stumbling block to the Jews and to the Gentiles foolishness”, therefore they will not be able to make friends and throw their arms open wide to the world. But in the time of Jesus and the Apostles, often the Gospel message was not well received.

John 12:37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him,

John 7:5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.

Acts 28:24 Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe.

John 6:66  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 

The true Gospel is not a popular message with people because they have to confront the fact that they are sinners and on their way to judgment. But today I see a trend, especially among the young, away from any repentance. Any problems they have are always blamed on others or circumstances. But without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Luke 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Bryan Schwartz says that the Holy Spirit is the one who shows affection and love to His kids. Since that is true, then when people fall down backwards in a chaotic and confusing church like Bethel, how does that demonstrate the grace gifts of peace and self-control? I feel sorry for those who have given themselves over to this false “Holy Ghost” at Bethel because they will never really know the peace of God. Bryan was trying to give the girl in Greece a peace that is not real and not based on a relationship with Jesus Christ facilitated by the Gospel.

A commentator ends this section by stating that when he read Acts he asked God why he wasn’t seeing any of that today. Supposedly God told him it was because he was not open to it. Apparently no one told him that the time of Acts was a special time in history and will not be repeated in the same way. Yes God is still working today but Pentecost is long over with. It is also untrue that God has stopped doing miraculous things. Why? Because He is a miraculous God.

South Africa

The narrator claims that a man by the name of Surprise Sittle speaks 14 languages, most of which God gave him supernaturally. The narrator admits this is a weird story and there is no demonstration of that ability given on the film. Surprise claims he heard an audible voice while he was sleeping on a mat in his village which told him to leave his village. He and his friend were then found two weeks later in another province and he claims he has no recollection of crossing the river to get there. Supposedly another man was told in a dream to wait for the boys and this man’s description sounds like he looked like Merlin or something. This man took them to his home and told them about Jesus and God. Suddenly Surprise says he fell into a trance. He allegedly found himself standing on a precipice above hell. He then was told to pray and ask Jesus into his heart and he did that and great peace came. Later he found out that his whole village had been ambushed and everyone killed the night he fled.

I believe that God may have saved him from being killed. But the other details of his story sound like they may have augmented through the years. His “salvation” is also suspect as there does not seem to have been the Gospel presented clearly. His trip to hell also must be a fabrication as no one is in hell, not even Satan, and no one will be going there till after the Judgment. So where did he go and who took him?

Surprise then goes into a village. After praying for a few people (no evidence of healing) they go to the local witchdoctor’s house. He tells her “we have come to dance with you today” repeatedly. I did not know Christians were supposed to witness to witchdoctors by dancing with them. I can only assume he means they are going to heal her so she can dance. There is no evidence she cannot move or even dance from the beginning other than she is walking slowly. The men with him lead the witchdoctor who can barely see and she walks with them. They ask her if she can see and she says she cannot. Here is the first shot of her eyes.

Take note of her eyes and how milky they are. It is clear she is perhaps not totally blind but likely has impaired sight.

They then begin by “healing” her legs. They use the old Oral Roberts, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe leg pulling trick where they make sure her feet are not equal then make them equal after they are done. They also try to heal her eyes. There is no Gospel presented to this witchdoctor seen on the film. They tell her she can stand now but she is helped to stand. She could stand before. She walks by herself but there was no indication that she could not do this before. She gingerly walks over and sits down. As they pray for her they pray to “remove the power of getting old.” I don’t see this type of miracle being done in the Bible. People naturally get old and infirmed. It is a part of human nature. But they pray that everything will be made new. They then tell her “now you are free.” They ask her if she can see and she says she can see now and appears to look at Surprise. But as stated before it looks to me that she could see enough to be able to look in his direction. She says she feels stronger. But likely the excitement of what they promised her has elevated her endorphins and she has a temporary high which will go down after they are gone. But that is not covered in the film.

Here is the last shot of her eyes from the film.

Even though they claim she is healed it is clear there has been no change in her eyes. They are as milky as before and she still hobbles at the same speed she did at first. This is what the Bible calls “lying signs and wonders”.

Apparently they felt the need to explain why she was not happy. Surprise explains that his mother, who was a witchdoctor, taught him not to laugh because “tomorrow you will cry”, which is basically the teaching of “karma” we see in many cultures. They then ask her if she has things of witchcraft in her house. They tell her that is what is holding her down. That is like putting the cart before the horse. She needs to understand who Jesus is, believe in Him, and repent of her sins.

Her daughter now admits she can see a little. They claim they had to carry her to the toilet before but now she can walk. But she could always walk, she was not totally lame. Her daughter tells her that God has done what witchcraft could not. But then she says “you are alive, your heart is beating”. Is that really the point? The witchdoctor says “thanks” and thanks God for her healing. She says about her witchcraft stuff in the house that she is afraid to burn it but will throw it away. Surprise then asks her if she can feel the difference between the spirit of God and the spirit of witchcraft. Since she is not born again how can she know that? The old witch does not throw out the stuff but her grandson, a “witchdoctor in training” brings out a small bundle of things from the house and Surprise sets them on fire. He then tells the old witch “Be free now.” They then get up and Surprise gets the witch to dance, which she does by standing in one place, barely moving her feet. They then say that the spirit of witchcraft was “broken off the village”. It is then claimed the grandson is in training to be a pastor. Still nothing is said about anyone believing in Jesus Christ or the Gospel being presented.

This is the problem with a lot of what is going on in New Age churches today. People are told they are regenerate and blessed by God when they have not even understood the Gospel. Though Surprise is not said to have any connection to Bethel, there must be one because they are using his testimony on their film. It is also characteristic of the Third Wave, starting with George Otis Jr. and his ‘Transformation” series to use the testimonies and efforts of others as their own. So we don’t know, but what we do know is that the testimony of Surprise is unbiblical in some respects and it is clear the witchdoctor has not had a divine healing.

Surprise then says the Holy Spirit likes to dwell in the places where there is the most joy. God is not restricted to being in any situation. He is in the churches when there are born again people there, but also in prisons, death camps, and the worst situations. This shows Surprise had not been taught biblically. He then likens the Holy Spirit to a river which you can’t go against but it is easy to flow with it. The analogy of a “river” is one of the analogies used most often in the Third Wave. They tell you to empty your mind and just jump in the river. That is squarely against what the Bible teaches.

Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

Reinhard Bonnke then says “The Holy Spirit is the electricity in the wire.” This would be a good spiritual analogy except that what Third Wavers like Bonnke claim is that they are feeling electricity in their hands when they lay hands on people.

After I spoke to the Holy Spirit, nothing seemed to happen......Then, like a jolt of electricity my body began to vibrate all over....I felt as if I had been translated to heaven....(Benny Hinn, Good Morning Holy Ghost, p.12-13)

 It was really so real, it was really a vision because when—when he appeared to me my body became electric just like electricity went through me and when I awoke that electricity was still on my body. (Benny Hinn, This Is Your Day, June 11, 1997, video tape on file.)

I wanted to be prayed for so I came forward, Rodney's coming by "Fill, fill, fill, come to me, fill, fill" and I went, (Randy Clark gets on the floor to show what happened to him) and I went down like this, now you have to understand (laughter), I had been touched by the power of God before, in a Baptist church in '84, and in the Vineyard in '89, but every time major baptisms of the Spirit, I was getting electrocuted, I was doing this, shaking like this, feeling .....from electricity all the next day in the joints, now I had a couple of those, so I equate strong anointing with shaking and electricity only problem is I'm not shaking … (Randy Clark, Taken from a Toronto Vineyard video and included in "A Plague in the Land" a video recording of a talk by Alan Morrison (1995)

That IS the predominant force that Heaven operates on. OUR predominant force is the force of electricity. (Kenneth Copeland, The Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit, audio tape)

Bartleman was "slain in the spirit" for one-half hour in front of a congregation where he had been preaching. On another occasion he said he felt "electric shocks" to the point that he fell unconscious (Frank Bartleman, Azusa Street, introduction by Vincent Synan, p. xiii).

The ministry of Pentecostal healer ORAL ROBERTS (1918- ) presents another case study in confusion. Roberts claims that sickness is of the devil, and during the early years of his ministry, he claimed to be able to discern the demons of illness through his right hand. He said that when he began his healing ministry, the power of God flowed like a current of electricity through him, at times feeling as if "liquid fire" were surging through his arm. (Oral Roberts, Harrell, All Things Are Possible, pp. 49, 50)

I experienced the power of the Spirit in a way I hadn't experienced for years, like massive electricity going through my body... One of the guys was prophesying. He was just lying there prophesying. . ." (Nicky Gumbal, HTB in Focus: Alpha News, Aug 1995 p9. See also Wallace Boulton, ed., The Impact Of Toronto, 1995 pp2O-24.

Bonnke is in lockstep with this type of heresy, except he has said a few times that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not an “it”. But then he hangs around with other Word of Faith/Third Wave heretics who are saying and demonstrating that the “force” or Holy Spirit is something they can use and throw around in a room. Since Bonnke is doing the same thing he must believe the same thing. God cannot be pressed into people’s foreheads, thrown across a room, or transferred by the will of men, by the laying on of hands. That practice is part of the occult. That a guy like Surprise, no matter how well intentioned, would lay hands on a witch and give her the blessings of God without salvation is actually an occult practice. It is too bad that people at Bethel are actually practicing Christian witchcraft, or else they might have helped this guy who came out of witchcraft to come all the way out.

Bishop Joe Garlington then comments that you have to ask for the Holy Spirit. He uses the Scripture Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (KJV) This is often the refrain of second blessing Pentecostals. If he is using this verse, applying it to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that is a misapplication of what Jesus taught. The baptism of the Spirit comes at the new birth. 

A born again Christian is already sealed (Eph 1:13,4:30; 2 Cor 1:22) and baptized (1 Cor 12:13) by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is working (1 Cor 12:11; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2) within (John 7:38; 1 John 3:24,4:13; Jam 4:5; 2 Tim 1:14) convicting (1 Thes 1:5; John 16:7-8), empowering (Eph 3:16), sanctifying (2 Thes 2;13; 1 Pet 1:2), bestowing grace gifts (1 Cor 12:4-11), and producing fruit (Gal 5:22). The Holy Spirit of God is sovereign (Heb 2:4; 1 Cor 12:11) and He cannot be transferred “by” human hands, which was the misconception of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:18-23). A few times in Acts the Spirit was given “at” the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 19:6) which was always done in submission to the will of God and in agreement with His purposes (1 John 2:17). The Holy Spirit, in this age, immediately indwells all who believe (Eph 1:13-14) which does not necessitate the laying on of hands.

If he is using this to indicate the filling of the Spirit, then that is also incorrect. Barnes says it is a desire to be holy. Family New Testament Notes says it is “righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ which is unto all and upon all them that believe”. John Gill says they shall be filled “with that righteousness, and with all other good things, in consequence of it; and particularly with joy and peace, which are the certain effects of it: or, "they shall be satisfied", that they have an interest in it; and so satisfied with it, that they shall never seek for any other righteousness, as a justifying one, in the sight of God; this being full, perfect, sufficient, and entirely complete.” Matthew Henry says: “Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are happy. Righteousness is here put for all spiritual blessings. These are purchased for us by the righteousness of Christ, confirmed by the faithfulness of God. Our desires of spiritual blessings must be earnest. Though all desires for grace are not grace, yet such a desire as this, is a desire of God’s own raising, and he will not forsake the work of his own hands.” I could go on and on but this passage is not about the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, in fact the Spirit is not even mentioned in the commentaries. It is about desiring to be filled with the righteousness of God through faith and obedience.

R.T. Kendall, a “theologian” now endorsing false teachers, says that when the Holy Spirit came after Jesus’ ascension that the Holy Spirit took His place on a spiritual level just as Jesus was evident in the physical. That is not accurate. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19) whom he sent from the Father. Therefore it is not a separation but the unity of God in us that helps us not only in the spiritual but also in the physical. Yes, Jesus in His glorified body is not with us in the flesh and is present at the right hand of the Father, but His Spirit is with us and helps us in the spiritual and the natural. The Pentecostal/Third Wave proclivity to separate Jesus Christ from His Spirit becomes ever more evident when they separate the New Birth from the Baptism of the Spirit, which is a spiritual sign of what has taken place in a regenerate believer as water baptism in the physical is a sign and testimony of what has taken place spiritually. I don’t have an argument with those who claim a second blessing as the continual filling of the Spirit for service in obedience to the Father. What I do have a problem with is making spiritual baptism separate from salvation and, furthermore, making laying on of hands a requirement to receive the Spirit. That is heresy which Bethel and all Third Wavers believe, teach and practice. This very teaching is inoculating people, who may be just coming to faith in Christ, against ever knowing the truth of Spirit baptism and the true gifts of the Spirit.

Colorado

They go to a group called ORW which is said to pray the Holy Spirit into a point of pain in a person to heal it. The viewer is not told if the Navy Seal being prayed for is a Christian or not, but they are asking the Holy Spirit to do a number of things in his life. Since true healing is based on the cross of Christ this is getting the cart before the horse. So they start to ask about things in his past and he talks about them all while having hands laid on him. He tells a heart wrenching story of his life. This is being used in the film to evoke an emotional response and also to legitimize what they are doing. They ask him, when he was a child suffering from the loss of his mother in an automobile accident, if he sees Jesus there. Now they are manipulating him into having a vision of Jesus. This “Jesus” is floating above the room. They then begin to put words in the mouth of this “Jesus” saying that He was saying “I love you son, you’re not alone.” I am sure Jesus loves him but to put words in the mouth of Jesus puts them on a par with Jesus and assumes they are in communication with Jesus and know what he said. It is obvious they are making it up as they go, saying things that are obvious but not actually true. How can it help a person when the truth is not being shared? They say “I want you to feel Jesus walk over towards you.” He then is told to kneel before Jesus and he says Jesus picked him up. This is all a fantasy that never happened in real life. Why not deal with these issues in the present instead of pretending to deal with them in a past that never happened? Now this guy gets emotional and starts to cry and says he feels “fire”. Fire in the Bible is almost always a symbol for judgment. It is also a favorite thing that Third Wavers like these from Bethel like to talk about. Again, they got these ideas from other heretics like Benny Hinn.

The miracles are apparently being done under the power of the ‘anointing’ which causes Todd Bentley to shake backwards as he waves his arms over the audience and shouts ‘Fire, Fire, Fire!’ Then people start roaring, groaning, shaking, jerking, experiencing burning sensations in the body and laughing uncontrollably. (Todd Bentley, quoted from Roaring Revival, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/RoaringRevival.doc

"FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, ... put FIRE on these kids ... He's being electrocuted by God's power ... Fire on you ... I never thought I would see this in Canada, ... FIRE, FIRE, FIRE." (Benny Hinn, Jesus To Appear In Nairobi Kenya This Weekend!, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/hinnmaitreya2.html

 In his book, The Touch of God, Howard-Browne describes an experience he had in 1979: "Suddenly the fire of God fell on me. It started on my head and went right down to my feet. His power burned in my body and stayed like that for three whole days....

Randy Clark claims that the "greatest revival of all times" is now a reality. He tells credulous Christians that "people are being raised from the dead and temples are being hit by lightening or fireballs and knocked off their things. It's all over. Germany and Africa. It's everywhere. God's doing it." (Randy Clark, "Catch The Fire: Questions and Answers", TACF, 10/14/94, audiotape, commentary from Counterfiet Revival, Hank Hanegraaff, 1997)

I have to wonder if they got the idea of planting ideas in people’s heads from Theophostic Counseling. You can read up on this here. It is really manipulative to suggest that Jesus appeared to him in his room or that he was always there but could not see Him without the help of Bethel people. Of course the Spirit was there as He is omnipresent, but not only is Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father and not appearing in people’s rooms, but the very definition of deliverance, salvation, peace and regeneration is to be found at the cross in Christ alone. They are not found in imaginations of people or in occultic visions of a different “Jesus”. This man cannot be truly healed of his past problems and sins without hearing the Gospel and believing it. Without that all this past lives type nonsense is useless. It may be good for a good cry but little else. It will not have a lasting good effect, in fact it may actually have a lasting bad effect when the person realizes it was a scam and loses his faith. I know people who have lost their faith and are likely to never be interested in Jesus Christ ever again who had their faith shipwrecked at Bethel through this type of stuff.

They continue on with many, many positive affirmations assuring him that he is a Navy Seal so he is a good person and what the enemy meant for evil God will turn around to something good. They keep calling him a “warrior for God”. He continues to cry. But the Gospel is not presented. After the session is over the Navy Seal says that Christianity was not for him in the past and he still has a hard time calling himself a Christian. So he admits he is not really a follower of Christ and this session has not produced a true believer. But he says “I am a warrior for God” because that is what he has been programmed with. He invites anyone with similar problems to “come out” to the place he is because “the Holy Spirit will show up”. But since this man clearly does not know the Gospel the Holy Spirit will have to find another way to convict him, find other true Christians to witness to him.

Bill Johnson claims people live with the concept of God and Jesus Christ but they need to encounter the Holy Spirit on a personal level. There are two problems with this statement. There are many who do not know about Jesus Christ and are not living with that knowledge. Second the Holy Spirit is not going to indwell them if they have not believed in Jesus Christ, Whose Spirit the Holy Spirit is. Johnson claims he heard the Holy Spirit, the voice of God, telling him to be saved. That is not how people are saved. They have to believe in Jesus Christ sight unseen and sound unheard.

Romans 8:24-25 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

1 Peter 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

 Johnson and other Third Wavers like him are trying to make Christianity into a faith in what is seen, heard and felt instead of a faith based on trust and what the written Word reveals to us through the Holy Spirit about Jesus Christ. This type of stuff fosters a false hope in lying signs. It also creates a super class of “Christian” who are allegedly seeing and hearing God audibly on a regular basis. Anyone else is subpar. They then set themselves up as the administrators of manifestations and visions that will put a person in touch with God. The problem comes when it is proven to be a lie and it destroys those who may be coming to Faith. This is the biggest trick of the enemy to snatch the seed from the hard ground before it can take root. This, I contend, is one of the great evils of the Latter Rain movements.

He then puts down churches that lead their people to “memorize Scripture”, etc. They always go back to the diaprax of putting down what they term as the old and dead in favor of the wonderful life they are doling out. I really despise this practice. It is very cultic, an us-against-them attitude based on false teachings and false experiences.

Dawkins says people, not involved in Bethel by implication, are afraid of the “experience”. I would say “rightly so”. We are to “test everything, hold on to the good.” Bethel has had the following experiences happening in their services or endorses them in other Third Wave gatherings:

Whirling Dervish type spinning until a trance state is reached, laughing, crying, shaking, running around the building, uncontrollable fast dancing, running, etc, followed by collapse; barking-howling, trances, drunkenness, falling out, oinking, being "hot", fanning self or blowing, walking like chickens, high pitched whine reminiscent of a lively horse, mooing and crowing, swimming in the spirit-on the back and also breast stroke style, women going through imaginary birth pangs, loss of consciousness, trying to soar like eagles, hissing and moving like a snake, inability to speak and involuntary body spasms, kung fu-like stances, vomiting in the spirit and holy head-banging, and stripping. 

They have also claimed mystical experiences like gold dust, gold fillings, angel feathers, angel footprints, gemstones appearing, and all kinds of unbiblical visions and testimonies.

Gee, I wonder why a true believer would question this stuff. 

Dawkins states that “God is not bound by one way, He is moving through all”. All? I believe it is a different spirit, one of which the Bible warns us.

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

The point is that true believers are NOT to “bear it beautifully”. But that is exactly what Dawkins is asking Christians to do. Just roll with it. Just jump in the river. Don’t go against it. Don’t judge. Touch not the Lord’s anointed. We are all supposed to just put a gag on and allow them to mislead young people all over the world. Well I, for one, will not do that. I must speak out against these heresies.

Dawkins says “He (God) is moving through all and He brings it all together”. This sounds Pantheistic. This is the “Holy Ghost” they promote, a force that is in everything, in other words God is His creation. But God is apart from His creation in the third Heaven, and though His Son is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity he is not part of the trees, the pews, the walls, the animals, and definitely not a part of every person. He is omnipresent but not effected by space and time. He is only “part” of those who have been born again.

Dawkins claims the Holy Spirit is there for greater things, including a “greater encounter”. So we are supposed to take the word of this guy that everyone is missing out unless they jump in with the Bethelites and get a “greater encounter”. When you go to a doctor you want the best doctor who is educated and knows medicine. Why would you listen to some guy off the street on spiritual matters? Dawkins clearly doesn’t have a clue about the teaching on the Holy Spirit in the Bible or what His role is today before the return of Christ. I think he would be shocked to find out that one of the major roles of the Holy Spirit is to remake us in the image of Christ as we take our sinful nature to the cross daily. It is not about gallivanting all over the globe and participating in mystical rituals with a veneer of Christianity. It is about helping people to begin to learn what is written in the Word and apply it to their lives as they walk with the Spirit.

He ends by subtly putting the written Word on the backburner while lifting up “experience” as the truly important aspect of the work of the Spirit. The Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. God’s Word is Truth. There is no true experience of the work of the Spirit without the Word, and these people from Bethel have not been taught the Word by their leadership. I can say that because of all the erroneous ideas they have as displayed in this film. I feel sorry for them but they need to repent, turn to Jesus Christ and His eternal Word, and most importantly, get away from the heretics, false teachers and false prophets of Bethel.

The narrator then poses what he says are two important questions. “What do you think of God and, more importantly, what does God think of you”. Really? It is more important what God thinks of us that what we think about God? God is far more important. We are only blessed by God if we believe in His Son and then what God thinks of us is how He sees us … in Christ.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 15:17 Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God.

Without being seen “in Christ” God would see us in our sinful nature and therefore we would remain condemned.

The narrator continues that we are in “one giant dance between us and God who is pursuing us.” It is true that God is seeking to save anyone who will believe in Jesus Christ. But sinners are not “dancing” with God. They are condemned by God until such a time as they come to belief in Him and repent of their sins. This all sounds New Age-like. Then again Bill Johnson has stated that we have a lot to learn from the New Age.

Many prominent authors and conference speakers add fuel to the fire of fear assuming that because the new age movement promotes it, its origins must be from the devil… (Johnson, Dreaming with God: Secrets to Redesigning Your World through God’s Creative Flow. 2006, Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA; p 86)

He is basically teaching, as others of his ilk have done, that many concepts in the New Age were actually stolen by the devil from Christianity and counterfeited. That is hogwash. The New Age is built on eastern mysticism out of Hinduism, Buddhism and other false religions. Their very constructs are antithetical to the Bible. Yet Bethel is known for mixing New Age and other occultism into one big pot they are touting as new revelation. They are a perfect example of modern Gnosticism.

Brazil

Nic Billman in Brazil tells the story about a kid that told him he murdered someone. He tells how this kid stabbed someone in the throat because they lied about him. Then Nic states: “But those boys, when they come into the presence of God are not murderers. They’re sons.”

The implications of this are huge. So we then learn that when a sinner comes into the presence of God they are no longer seen as sinners. Of course nothing is mentioned about hearing the Gospel and salvation for forgiveness of sin. It is simply “coming into the presence of God”. The second implication is that when a person comes into contact with someone from Bethel, they are in the presence of God and therefore they are justified. This is absolutely counter to what the Bible teaches.

First of all, you cannot be a son of God unless you believe in the Son of God. Humans are not sons of God, they are part of God’s creation. They cannot call God “Father” unless they are born again.

Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 

This adoption is not for all but only for those who have believed.

John 12:36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

Not all people are children of God, only believers. What Nic is saying represents a radical Inclusivism if not Universalism.

Secondly we must not lose sight of the fact that this kid he is talking about has just murdered someone. If Nic does not contact the police he would be considered by the law to be withholding information on a murder and could be charged with aiding and abetting. Wikipedia says this:

Aiding and abetting is a legal doctrine related to the guilt of someone who aids or abets in the commission of a crime. It exists in a number of different countries and generally allows a court to pronounce someone guilty for aiding and abetting in a crime even if they are not the principal offender. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiding_and_abetting) 

Nic goes on to say that little girls sold into prostitution are not a prostitute to God, they are a daughter. Again, the same principle applies. Even if it is not their fault they were sold into the sex trade, they still need to hear and believe in the Gospel. They cannot be saved without that and they will go to hell for their sins. It is clear that Nic has compassion for them but that compassion is not bringing him to the point of sharing the Gospel with them, so what use is his compassion? It ends up being useless pity.

Nic says: “Our goal is to bring that culture to their culture, our goal is to blow up the walls of the bondage they’ve lived in, with the truth of their identity, to bring back to them the royalty they deserve.” Unfortunately their identity is that of a sinner without a Savior. The answer is not to simply have compassion on them and tell them they are “royalty” but to help them by sharing the truth. Unbelievers are not “King’s kids”, they are sinners in need of a Savior on their way to hell.

So Nic then proceeds down the road with two girls to a place called “Street Church” which he calls one of the craziest, messiest churches in the world. If a church I “crazy and messy” then it is not a true church.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

1 Corinthians 14:40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

They have ignored these verses at Bethel and any startup they have opened in other countries.

They give out food and art projects to “show them they have value in the Father’s eyes”. Nic states that pretty much every person there is high on sniffing glue. Showing them they have value will not profit them anything without the Gospel. The film shows people laying hands on others and praying for them. Again, without the Gospel it may show comfort to people but is without eternal merit or meaning spiritually.

Nic then relays what he was doing in the meeting. He says sometimes he is the only one singing and “changing the atmosphere”. This is another catchphrase of Third Wavers. They believe they have to have a changed “atmosphere” in order for people to believe. Benny Hinn has said this along with others.

As we were waiting in London for our flight to Nigeria, we looked out the windows and saw an interesting pattern in the clouds. There was clearly a sword emblazoned in white across the sky. We knew the Lord was communicating about the SWORD that had come into the atmosphere over London and England. ... I shared that this was a time that the sword was being awakened in the atmosphere over London. ... I decreed that tradition would not guide the Church from this day forward. I also decreed that false religion (the sword of Islam) would not be able to be the guiding force over England. From this passage I felt like God was saying, "I want to take charge over England and London for this hour. ... Officials do not know why the 147-year-old clock on the banks of the River Thames stopped at 10:07 p.m. Friday. It resumed keeping time, but stalled again at 10:20 p.m. and remained still for about 90 minutes before starting up again, said an engineer at the Palace of Westminster, which operates the clock. ... Note by Steve Shultz: Please observe that the temperature reached 90 degrees and the clock stopped for 90 minutes . . . both a record for the history books. Perhaps there is meaning . . . a sign and a wonder for London, for England -- Steve Shultz (Chuck Pierce: "GOD'S INTERVENTION OVER LONDON AND THE WHOLE OF ENGLAND -- Prophecy and Prayer Directives Coincide with Historic, Unexplainable 90-Minute Stop of BIG BEN CLOCK", The ElijahList, 5/31/05) 

The year 2008 will be a "Year of Acceleration" for God's people. God has already empowered His Church with gifts and anointing, and now He is about to press the accelerator and move the Church at speeds of life and growth not seen in recent history. God is ready to move us at "warp-speed" past old barriers and old obstacles that have stood in our way. In 2008, God will accelerate the Church financially, relationally, and into a new anointing in the marketplace. This acceleration is not to get the world ready for His coming--but it is to get the Church up to eternal speed as we engage our calling. God will move His people at such an accelerated speed that the enemy will only see us as a blur. We will not be a vulnerable, slow-moving target as in years past. Satan will try to attack, but he will only be shooting at a blur. God will deny the enemy a stationary bull's eye. ... The gate in 2008 involves divine government in our individual lives first, and then we can shift the atmosphere around us.  (Sandie Freed and Garris Elkins: "Positioned at the KING'S GATE in 2008 and The Year of ACCELERATION", The ElijahList, 12/11/07)

I heard the Lord say ... When we come together in unity, worshipping God, releasing a sound of intercession into the atmosphere--again, in unity--we are causing a physical change in the atmosphere. When we come into agreement with God's ways--with His purposes and desires, we cause the earth to vibrate with the frequency of Heaven. There will be a fullness released into the atmosphere when unity between Heaven and earth (the desires of God) begin to manifest. The vibration of the sounds coming from Heaven and the vibration of the sounds coming from the earth will meet. (JoAnn McFatter: "Vibration of Sounds will be Released--Get Ready for the Frequency of Heaven!", The ElijahList, 12/25/07)

We are heading into two of the most rearranging, realigning months that we have ever known in the history of this generation. What occurs during these days will set a course for our lives and this nation. The Lord woke me at 1 o'clock on Tuesday morning, March 4th, 2008. As I walked into the bathroom I noticed a calligraphy verse: "Lean not on your own understanding." This verse lit up even though the light was not on in the bathroom. The verse became red and yellow like fire. When I went back in at 5 AM, I noticed that the verse was actually in navy blue! I heard the Lord begin to say: ... I will show you how evil is working. I will let you hear the voice of evil-- that voice that has been distracting, confronting, and taunting you. My cause will rise up in you. My words will form in your mouth. You will speak it to the atmosphere and the atmosphere around you will change. ... Spheres of authority will be rearranged in these next 40 days. The power of My words in your mouth will cause a breakthrough. Don't miss your window of opportunity or fail to recognize the catalyst I am creating for rearranged momentum. Receive an anointing to leap over the mountain that has been deceiving and intimidating you. ... War for the next 21 days to see My call come forth. ... You will be accosted by the enemy three times to keep you from finding and standing firm on the highway that I am forming to bring you through and into your new! ... Nations are hanging in the balance! My Kingdom government will now begin to rise up and form to influence the government of the earth. ... I am calling for a new release of power over these 40 days. (Chuck Pierce: "CHUCK PIERCE: Important! 40-day Prophecy and 2-Month DECREE to the Body of Christ", The ElijahList,3/9/08)

I could give many more examples. It is interesting to note that these New Apostolic Third Wavers sound exactly like New Agers with regards to changing the atmosphere.

Notice what New Age sites teach: Incense is a tool used to help shift the atmosphere, direct our attention and aid us in imagery. Of course incense can be purely aromatic but sacred reasons are usually why people start making their own incense recipes. For hundreds of years our ancestors used herbs and resins as offerings to the Deities and Spirits of the universe. They also used them for imagery, watching their prayers rising to the sky. To make your own you are connecting with a long lived tradition of prayer and reconnecting yourself to the natural world around us. Each plant hums its own vibration, by tuning into this we tap more energy into our rituals and spells. We use incense to honor, carry prayers, awaken spirits, clear sacred space, bless, curse and add to the atmosphere of our home. (http://spiralsoflight.net/page9.html) "Now it's time to shift the atmosphere of the room.  Take a squeaker and blow it noisily around the room (this sound frivolous but it really moves the energy, bringing renewal.) (The Smudging and Blessings Book: Inspirational Rituals to Cleanse and Heal by Jane Alexander, pg. 53) 

Nic then claims a little boy was singing with him while he was playing guitar then Nic stopped singing and the boy continued to sing about asking “Jesus come into my house”. Nic claims he was spontaneously making up words for the song. I am sorry but I doubt it was spontaneous but rather he was repeating what Nic was previously singing. Regardless of whether Nic was telling the truth, this does not constitute the Gospel.

Nic says what he loves about this is that the boy is asking Jesus to come into his home when the boy is homeless. So he says the boy is asking Jesus to come there to the streets. So Nic equates this with the boy asking Jesus into his heart. But there is no evidence of salvation presented on this film.

Then the narrator says “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in heaven.” Here is the actual verse:

Luke 18:17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

This is talking about believing and receiving salvation in Jesus Christ with faith like a little child. Again, though the child in this part of the film is very humble, all Nic is seen doing is holding his head. This reminds me of Mother Teresa who cared for the poor but told them that they were all children of God. It is so sad that, given this golden opportunity, that child still does not know the Gospel.

They then put on a banquet for the prostitutes and “simply bless them with good food and gifts”. So they decide, based on what someone named Darren has told them “in the Spirit” to sing a song that has never been sung before. They were doing this to “unlock the hearts” of the prostitutes there so the Holy Spirit could “fall on that room”.

The Holy Spirit does not “fall’ on rooms. I can find nowhere in the Bible where is talks about the Spirit falling. The Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon Jesus showing that He was the Son of God, not that He did not have the Spirit because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus (Rom. 8:11, Phil. 1:19). The Spirit is there when two or three believers (not unbelievers) are gathered (Matt. 18:20) but where the Gospel is not shared and people have not been born again the Spirit is not going to “fall” there. Conversely those who fall in the Bible were falling under the control of another spirit.

Rachel, who is with Nic, tries to claim they are doing more for the prostitutes because when other churches come there (apparently giving out food, etc.) they “make” them pray a prayer before they leave. I highly doubt that is what they are doing and this is another instance where Bethel people are putting down the body of Christ. What I believe some of the other churches are doing is not simply feeding them and singing with them but actually sharing the Gospel, and as a result some of them indicate they want to make a profession of faith and they are guided in praying a prayer asking God to save them and repent of sin. But Bethel people don’t want to do that and apparently see it as a negative thing. That shows the “spirit” behind their actions. It is unbelievable to me that they would think sharing the Gospel and praying with them is a negative thing. She even says they “want something from them”. Yes, they want them to hear and understand the Gospel. She claims they will make a fellowship where there is no “judgment from churches” expecting something from them. What is the difference between what Bethel people want to do and some secular agency feeding them or some New Age liberal organization coming in and showing them how to do Yoga to help their addictions and health? This is philanthropy without the very thing that will actually help them.

So they are going to “love them right where they are at”. Then we see tables set up with a bunch of gift bags. I guess the other churches were not putting their gifts in gift bags for a big show but simply feeding them and caring for them. I see a lot of hypocrisy in this. I do notice the prostitutes are, for the most part, wearing what they wear on the streets to attract men, namely very short shorts, tight tops, etc. They are then led to a table with makeup and apparently taught how to apply it. Nothing like “helping them” and “loving them” by helping them to continue what they are doing and showing them how to apply makeup to attract men. Then to the strains of the New Age music throughout the film, they go through a buffet line and open their gifts.

Then Nic and Rachel start to play and the announcer says they start to sing about how God sees the prostitutes as “His spotless Bride”. This is a low point in this film for me. They take these girls right off the street, doll them up with some makeup, then sing to them that they are the Bride of Christ. That is utter blasphemy. Have they never read about the man who tried to get into the wedding feast of the Lamb without the spotless white wedding clothes? Are these women spotless? Is that how God sees them?

Matthew 22:12-14 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

It is a sad fact that without the washing of the blood which is appropriated by belief and confession no one can be part of the Bride or the Wedding Feast. Whenever you see the opposite thing being taught or sung than what the Bible teaches, you are seeing doctrines of demons.

1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

What we see here is part of the falling away, the great Apostasy, at work among those who need the Gospel the most.

So they start singing this “song that has never been heard before” that they allege God is singing to them about His love, etc. But the melody is from a worship song which I have not been able to identify but I know the tune. If anyone knows this tune let me know. So this tune is neither directly from God nor original. He is singing and speaking easily in Portuguese which I believe is because he knows the language well and when he was bragging earlier that the Lord would give him the right words he was implying that he hardly knew the language. The film does not support that notion.

Of course some of the prostitutes start to cry because this is an appeal to their emotions and because they are being told they are God’s bride. But the fact is that they are being sold emotionalism in place of true spirituality. I have stated it before in other articles but much of the church today is being led to believe that soulical things are actually spiritual things. They have allowed the enemy to counterfeit true spiritual things for emotions, experiences, manifestations and feelings.

Don’t get me wrong. Telling of the love of Jesus is a part of the Gospel. But it is not the complete Gospel. Jesus would want the full Gospel preached, especially including the cross and the resurrection. Paul, the last Apostle to see and be taught by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit had as his mission to preach Christ and Him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

The question comes to my mind. Are the prostitutes in the film crying during the singing because they are repentant for their sins and ready to leave their sinful profession behind? Or are they crying because of all the nasty things that have happened to them, or the loss of their families, or the way they are treated in the world, or in self pity?

It is also clear that the two singers practiced this song ahead of time because they are singing in harmony and know what is coming next. This is not a spontaneous unscripted song as everyone was led to believe. But then Bethel obviously teaches that the ends justify the means.

They sing “My princesses forever”. What a lie! I guess the god of Bethel believes that sin doesn’t matter.

To their credit two of the prostitutes, it is said, decided to leave their prostitution behind and join in with Nic and others in “ministry”. Again nothing is said about them believing in Jesus Christ and being born again.

Gary Weiss, artist/professor says “I just wish the Church would stop being so afraid of the Holy Spirit. What the heck!” This is diaprax. Who said Christians are “afraid” of the Holy Spirit? I see. It is because they will not jump into the dissolution of Bethel with them. In other words, anyone who disagrees with Bethel is afraid of the Holy Spirit. This is the mark of a cult. They are quick to tell others not to judge them but then they judge the whole Church as not having a proper relationship with the Holy Spirit. He goes on “How do you get to know Jesus without experiencing Him?” You start by hearing the Gospel, believing in Jesus Christ, and then the Holy Spirit creates a new man within. You don’t fall down and bark like a dog. You stand up and begin to study the Word as taught by the indwelling Holy Spirit. These kinds of charges have been made for decades by judgmental hyper-Pentecostals. “You may be a Christian but you don’t have the Holy Spirit”. First of all that is impossible but how can they know if a person is Spirit-filled if they are being driven by another spirit? Of course the implication is that you need to let them transfer the Spirit to you by laying on of hands by the will of man.

Weiss asks the question of Christians “Is it just the head?” What he is saying is that most Christians have head knowledge only of the Holy Spirit and are actually afraid of Him. Just because someone is afraid of getting knocked on their back into a trance and getting all kinds of demonic manifestation does not make them afraid of the Holy Spirit. It makes them aware that there are other spirits. It makes them see that churches in the Third Wave have accepted another Jesus, a different Gospel and another spirit.

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

Weiss claims when the “Holy Spirit gets on me” he gets tears. Again, this is mistaking the soulical for the spiritual. Many things can make people cry and the devil himself can certainly make people cry. But that is not a mark of someone who is Spirit-filled. Someone who is born again thus baptized and renewed in the spirit will then obey the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to fill them and give them grace gifts in service of the Lord. This phrase about the Holy Spirit being “on” a person is also very sacrilegious and gives a mistaken impression of the Holy Spirit.

Weiss says “I don’t serve a dead God” in the context of saying again that Christians are fearful of the Holy Spirit. But does that make them open themselves up to any spiritual thing going on in Churches? Paul warned the Corinthians long ago to be careful of that they got involved in. Gary apparently was not careful and even if he says he is a “smart guy” he was not smart at all to accept a counterfeit spirit which is clearly evident at Bethel. He finally says he does “not serve a god of the past but a god of the now.” The problem is that the God of Israel is the God of the past and the current god in the world is not YHWH.

2 Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

Since I have made it clear that the Gospel is nowhere to be found on this film I have to wonder if Weiss has given himself over to the non-Gospel of Bethel or if he never was saved to begin with. It is truly sad.

The next speaker says the whole purpose of what they are doing on the film is to “bring people into a more intimate relationship with Jesus”. But how can you do that without explaining why Jesus added humanity on to His nature, why he had to come and die in our place for our sins, and why He had to rise again to be the first fruit of eternal life for believers? How can an absence of that Gospel narrative bring anyone closer to Jesus?

Bonnke says “Our total surrender to Jesus I believe pleases the Holy Spirit most. Cause’ he has come not to speak of Himself but of Jesus Christ. And I’ve of the opinion that the more Holy Spirit we have the better we know Jesus Christ because He’s the one who reveals Him to us.” I’m sorry but I don’t see levels of the amount of Holy Spirit in people evident in the New Testament. You either have Him or you do not, and you can’t get Him unless you are saved, and when you are saved you are indwelled by Him. Yes He does fill Christians for service but it is not a competition or something we are to use to judge. He does it so that we may serve the will of the Father and, especially, witness the Gospel. The lack of the Gospel on this film shows that there is no Spirit-filling because if that were the case the Gospel would be evident over and over again.

Catacombs

The film then jumps back to Todd White in the Catacombs. He says he is in the place of the beginning of the Church. That is not accurate as the Church started in Jerusalem, went through the Middle East and ended up in Rome with Paul. The Catholic religion, unfortunately, started a couple of centuries after many Christians were martyred in Rome and elsewhere. 

The narrator states that “It was then that the full weight of what God had done overwhelmed me. God sent me around the world to meet individuals who needed Him. But He didn’t send me because I’m some special messenger. He sent me simply because I said yes to Him. He wants a relationship with everyone and He’ll do whatever it takes to win our hearts and draw us back to Him.” During this last sentence the film is showing the inside of the Vatican again. The implication is that God is working in the Catholic religion to bring people “back to Him”. Again, people have no relationship to God other than He is their Creator until they hear the Gospel, believe in Jesus Christ and repent. So God is not calling people back to Himself, He is calling them to Himself. Second, the Roman Catholic Church is not bringing people to God but rather putting them in bondage to a works salvation. “But first we need to say yes. That’s all it takes. A simple yes.” Saying yes to what? Yes to traveling around the world giving out false hope or yes to witnessing the Gospel? Todd White is obviously convicted by the bones he sees in the catacombs from those who died for Christ. But you will not die for Christ by making friends with everyone. The Gospel is message people do not want to hear which is why so many believers were thrown to the lions.

Luke 12:51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;

When Jesus brought the hard message of the Gospel many left him.

John 6:53-66 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 

Even Paul was deserted by practically everyone for his stand for the Gospel.

2 Timothy 1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.

Christians have always been persecuted for the true Gospel. They are not persecuted for giving out food and making friends.

Todd in the Catacombs

He claims he is going to sing a song that is spontaneous and unplanned. It sounds like a chordal progression he had already been working on to me. This is the only place in the film where elements of the Gospel are sung by Todd, at least the mention of Jesus’ death and resurrection. During this song they show clips from the film where they have alleged healing and changed lives that were not based on the Gospel but on mystical impartation. His song continues lauding those who died in Rome and whose skeletal remains are in the Catacombs. He dares people to lay down their lives for Jesus.

The problem is that unbelievers are not going to lay down their lives for Jesus unless they understand why He laid down His life for them, and that is not explained in this film or in the song Todd sings. Also alleged “Christians” are not going to be persecuted or killed for the Faith unless they preach the Gospel. This is the lesson God was trying to teach Todd but I am pretty sure he did not get it. I will pray for him.

After his song they fade to black and the credits roll.

Conclusion

I stated in the first part of this article this film is not about preaching the Gospel but about using New Age techniques to try to get people softened up to “the Lord”. But any good done in this film has no eternal value unless followed up with the Gospel message. Apart from many statements made that are unbiblical, and in some cases, blasphemous, this film is leading people into a different version of “Christianity” what has nothing to do with the true Church. 

I leave you with the admonition Paul gave to Timothy.

2 Tim. 4:1-5 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 

 

Read 34873 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 February 2016 04:42

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